Mapping progress in chronic hepatitis B: geographic variation in prevalence, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment, 2013–15

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To measure progress towards Australia's National Hepatitis B Strategy 2014–17 targets, and assess geographic variation in disease burden and access to care for those living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB).


Data were generated from routinely collected sources, including risk-group prevalence and population data, infectious diseases notifications, Medicare records, and immunisation registry data, and assessed nationally and according to geographic area for 2013–15.


CHB prevalence in 2015 was 239,167 (1.0%), with 62% of those affected having been diagnosed (target 80%). Treatment uptake was 6.1% (target 15%), and only 15.3% of people with CHB received guideline-based care. CHB prevalence ranged within Australia's 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) from 1.77% (NT) to 0.56% (Grampians & Barwon South West VIC). No PHN reached the 15% treatment target, with uptake highest in South Western Sydney (13.7%). Immunisation coverage reached the 95% target in three PHNs.


The CHB burden in Australia is significant and highly geographically focused, with notable disparities in access to care across Australia.

Implications for public health:

Efforts to improve progress toward National Strategy targets should focus on priority areas where the prevalence of CHB is substantial but access to treatment and care remains low.

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